Sustainable Communities

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:31 pm on 5th February 2003.

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Photo of John Prescott John Prescott Deputy Prime Minister, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Local Government and the Regions, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee 12:31 pm, 5th February 2003

The hon. Gentleman's own Government were dictated to by their policy of predict and build. There is a long history of the previous Tory Administration imposing targets on local authorities, which did not like them. I said that that was unfair because central Government might be wrong. Central Government and local authorities must combine to agree on housing supply, and from time to time there is a great deal of disagreement. Our proposal to plan, monitor and manage was a way in which to decide who was right when demands for housing were made and how many houses were to be built. The areas that do not want any kind of housing will not be able to achieve what we believe to be the reasonable target set for the whole south-east region, which, with the change in density planning, can be met without new land take. That might mean that there will be fewer four-bedroom houses, but many more affordable homes for ordinary people to live in.